‘Illegal’ Manggai holiday

Manggai Agro Secondary School in Kavieng’s Tikana local level government, in New Ireland Province, has prematurely sent its students home for the term two holidays.

This is two weeks before the scheduled break by the Department of Education.  

The school’s board of management made the decision due to lack of funding, which means the boarding school cannot feed its 600 students.

The school management said when the rest of the schools under the national education system go for break, Manggai will resume for Term Three.

Chief executive officer of social services in the New Ireland Provincial Administration, Apelis Benson, said while they understand Manggai’s situation, the school’s administration should have followed established processes.

“We still believe that no school administration has got the right to close schools,” he said. “The provincial education board, the education authorities and, of course, the United Church – which is the agency responsible for the school – must be consulted and they are the only authorities that can close a school.

“At this stage, the provincial education board has met and has given clear instruction – letters have been given to the school board of Manggai Agro Secondary, the principal, the school administration. Also, we’ve gone on air to advise all parents and students of Manggai to return back to school on the 13th of June – which is next week Tuesday – and resume normal classes.

“Also the provincial education board has made the decision for the school to go through the holiday week to catch up on the lost week; lost time when they were illegally suspended. And I say illegal simply because this was termed by the provincial education board as it was not approved by relevant authorities.”